Manchester United Defeat Chicago Fire 3-1 in World Football Challenge

manchester united

The Chicago Fire have just 2 wins this MLS season. But they looked pretty impressive to Manchester United F.C. on Saturday. This match-up between the Red Devils and the “Men in Red” was much closer than anyone expected. The Old Trafford outfit absolutely destroyed the Seattle Sounders, 7-0 in their last preseason friendly. Therefore, conventional wisdom held that this match could see more of the same.

However, this friendly held in 90 degree heat and ugly humidity at Soldier Field, turned out quite different.

The scoring began in the first half when Chicago’s Cory Gibbs’ header found the back of the net. Coincidentally, Gibbs was the lone Fire player selected for the pre-game media conference Thursday.

“We’re excited for this opportunity, halfway through our season,” he told the press Thursday.

“Playing one of the top teams in the world, it will be a good test for us mentally, and I think our fans also deserve it.”

Gibbs certainly made the most of his opp.

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Manchester United vs. Chicago Fire: World Football Challenge Game Notes

manchester united

The international friendly kicks off in a few hours, Chicago Fire vs. Manchester United F.C. From Soldier Field on the shores of Lake Michigan in Chicago, here’s all the vital info and numbers for this football match.

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Manchester United, Sir Alex Ferguson to Battle Chicago Fire, Heat

As the world famous Manchester United F.C. arrived in Chicago for an international friendly soccer match, they realized that they’re not just battling the MLS Chicago Fire, but also Chicago’s oppressive heat.

“We came from a nice cool atmosphere in Seattle to a furnace, so it’ll be a test for the players- both sides,” said Sir Alex Ferguson during Thursday’s media conference.

Thursday’s high temperature in Seattle was 63; in Chicago 99 officially, with numerous portions of the city recording Chicago’s first triple digit readings since 2005. Heat indexes are running in the 110s-120s and Saturday doesn’t look much better with a forecast calling for 95 degrees, with more oppressive humidity. The combination will make exercising outside for non-professional athletes extremely dangerous.

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Chicago Fire Find New Goalkeeper: Alec Dufty

chicago fire

The Chicago Fire Soccer Club announced the signing of 23-year-old goalkeeper Alec Dufty today. The 6-5 ‘keeper has trained with the Fire since the onset of the club’s preseason camp and will immediately be added to the roster. Per club and league policy, terms of the deal were not disclosed.

“Alec is a talented young goalkeeper with size and confidence in goal,” said Fire Technical Director Frank Klopas. “He has the ability to grow as a ‘keeper with the Fire and helps provide stability to our goalkeeping core.”

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Fire acquire Freddie Ljungberg, gearing up for 2007-esque late season surge?

freddie-ljungberg

In a week where the team traded veteran midfielder Justin Mapp and unveiled new Designated Player Nery Castillo, the changes keep coming for the Chicago Fire- yesterday, the team announced the acquisition of midfielder Freddie Ljungberg from the Seattle Sounders.

Ljungberg, 33, brings with him one of the most impressive resumes in MLS. He rose to fame playing on the wing for Arsenal of the English Premier League, enjoying a legendary nine year spell for the Gunners. Ljungberg played an integral role in winning two league titles- most famously in 2003-2004, when the “Invincibles” went the entire league season without losing a match- and three FA Cups. He also scored 15 goals in a ten year career international with Sweden, captaining his country in the final two years before his international retirement in 2008. The midfielder impressed after coming to MLS last year as well, being named captain of the 2009 MLS all-star team.

by Sam Svoboda

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Chicago Fire Finish SuperLiga on a High Note

chicago fire

The Chicago Fire came into Tuesday’s game against the UNAM Pumas in last place in Group B with no chance of advancing. Pumas on the other hand were in third place and had a slim chance of advancing. They needed a loss by Morelia and a five-goal win over the Fire. The Former came true, as the New England Revolution continued their unexpected run by beating Morelia 1-0. Unfortunately, this meant little for Pumas, because they were unable to muster even a single goal against the Fire.

For a team that needed not only a win, but at least five goals, it was a very disappointing effort by Pumas, who came out uninspired from the get-go. In the 35th minute, Fire defender Wilman Conde headed in the deciding goal off a corner from midfielder Marco Pappa, both of whom are MLS All-Stars. Pumas was unable to answer back, losing 1-0.

By: Justin Mertes-Mistretta

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Chicago Fire Hope to Play Spoiler Against UNAM Pumas

chicago fire

The Chicago Fire head into tonight’s game against UNAM Pumas mathematically eliminated from the 2010 SuperLiga. However, the Fire can play spoilers to Pumas, who need a miracle to advance. Expect this game to be entertaining from the first whistle, as Pumas needs to win by at least five goals to have any shot at advancing past the group stage. This should give the Fire, who has struggled to score all season, a chance to right the ship offensively. While this game may not mean a lot in terms of 2010 SuperLiga success, it means everything for the future success of the Fire. On a four-game losing streak, a victory would give this team a much needed confidence booster heading back into the MLS regular season.

The Fire has shown absolutely to team chemistry out on the pitch. This could be largely due to the fact that head coach Carlos de los Cabos seems to be tinkering with the line-ups every game. One move that has been beneficial for the Fire has been the decision to start backup goalie Sean Johnson, who looked spectacular in Saturday’s game against New England. He went 76 minutes without allowing a goal. This was a stark contrast to goalie Andrew Dykstra, who looked lost against Morelia giving up 5 goals.

By: Justin Mertes-Mistretta

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Team Mexico to play in Chicago

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MEXICO PREPS FOR 2010 FIFA WORLD CUP WITH MATCH IN CHICAGO

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